Published: 01:20 PM, 25 May 2021
The Hindu Council UK, South Asian Health Action, South Asian HealthFoundation and British Sikh Nurses are supporting the Act F.A.S.T campaign toraise awareness of stroke within South Asian communities. This Public HealthEngland campaign is also supported by the Stroke Association.
There are more than 100,0001 incidents of stroke each year in the UK and it is aleading cause of death and disability in the UK. A stroke is a medicalemergency and anyone experiencing symptoms should seek urgent help. Earlytreatment not only saves lives but results in a greater chance of a betterrecovery, as well as a likely reduction in permanent disability from stroke.
KiritMistry, Chair and Founder of South Asian Health Action apatient, carer and community led charity said: “We are pleased to be workingwith Public Health England to engage, educate and empower south Asiancommunities of the key signs of Stroke to help raise moreawareness”.
DrRubina Ahmed, Executive Director at the Stroke Association, said: “We know thatif you’re of South Asian descent, you’re more likely to have a stroke, andyou’re more likely to have one younger. That’s why it’s so important to know theFAST test which will prepare you and your family to act quickly and potentiallysave a life if you ever notice any single one of the signs.”
Think and act F.A.S.T. The signs of stroke are:
Face – has theirface fallen on one side? Can they smile?
Arms – can theyraise both their arms and keep them there?
Speech – is theirspeech slurred?
Time – time tocall 999
Two stroke survivors share their experiences and encourage others torecognise the signs to save lives.
Pratima Gohil was up late preparing for her granddaughter’s birthdaywhen she had a stroke.
“I took some things out of the fridge and put them on the worktop andthat was the moment I felt a sudden pain at the back of my neck. I tried tograb the work top, but my hands kept slipping,” the 54-year-old, who has beensupported by South Asian Health Action, said.
Pratima experienced paralysis down her left side, blurred vision,slurred speech and wasn’t able to use her hands properly. As she was downstairsalone, she was unable to call for anyone and it wasn’t until her husband foundher in the morning that 999 was called and she was taken to hospital.
The former bank clerk who was fortunate to make a full recovery knowshow important is to seek medical help fast.
“It is better to get help straight away so that you have the best chancesof a good recovery,” Pratima said.
Because her father had had a stroke and she had read about it, Pratima knewthe signs, however there are still so many people who don’t know what to lookout for.
When Tarun Dabhi, a former PostOffice worker had a stroke he didn’t know what was happening. His face haddropped on one side and he began to slur his words, two key signs of stroke.
“I did not realise I was having a stroke as I did not know much aboutthe symptoms of stroke,” Tarun, who has received support from the Hindu CouncilUK, said.
His wife initially believed he was having a reaction to medication hewas taking but soon realised something wasn’t right. She called her brother, whois a pharmacist, who urged her to call 999.
That phone call meant Tarun was able to get treatment quickly and he hassince made a good recovery. He now pays even more attention to his health.
“I wish I was more aware of the symptoms,” Tarun said. “If you act fast andget help straight away then there is more chance of good recovery.”
Some other signs of stroke or mini stroke caninclude:
For information on stroke go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke